RIVER ISLAND is partnering with London-based designer Georgia Hardinge on a collection for spring/summer 2013. The collaboration is part of the high street store's successful Design Forum - which last season saw a partnership with William Tempest - an initiative which gives emerging designers a chance to deliver a collection to a much wider audience.
Known for her contrasting use of soft and feminine fabrics, abstract print and structural, textured shapes, Hardinge's debut high street collection will follow the dreamy aesthetic of her mainline - featuring both clothing and accessories. River Island first approached Hardinge about the partnership a year ago, a prospect that Hardinge says she was "immediately excited about".
"When I started my business I made a plan to one day collaborate with a high street retailer and I am so happy to see that happen," she told us. "I absolutely love what River Island are producing at the moment - there is a definite buzz around the brand and they are really bringing something fresh and new to the high street."
The collection will launch with a short film - directed by Alex Turvey and starring Ben Grimes - as part of the Fash/On Film series during London Fashion Week, an aspect of the partnership that Hardinge is particularly pleased with ("it allows the mood of a collection to come to life"). And speaking of mood, expect plenty of beautiful and dark drama from the clothing - with Hardinge drawing from Swiss surrealist painter and sculptor H.R. Giger for creative inspiration.
"I find that his paintings and sets create such beautiful depth and movement and I wanted to capture these elements and echo them in the print," she said. "I have a fascination with sculpture and love to transfer this 3D way of working into clothing - the main showpiece which is shown in the film was sculpted to flatter and mould around the female silhouette."
Hardinge made her London Fashion Week debut for spring/summer 2010, with her designs having been worn by some of the biggest names in fashion and music - including Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Florence Welch.
"It is such an amazing feeling to see an artist that you respect so much wearing your designs. It definitely feels like a reward after working so hard on each collection," she said. "It was especially nice that Beyoncé bought a pair of leggings from one of our stockists and I had no idea until I saw the pictures!"
The 14-piece Georgia Hardinge for River Island collection will land in stores from March. The showpiece dress featured in the Fash/On Film video will be auctioned for charity.